The Ghana Health Service said Monday it has a strong surveillance system in place to prevent an outbreak of dengue fever, local media reported.
The reassurances came following the decision by Ghanaian health officials to issue an emergency alert because of a dengue fever outbreak in neighboring Burkina Faso.
In a statement to media outlets, public health official Dr. Kofi Asemanyi Mensah said the regional World Health Organization (WHO) office sent an alert to Ghana with information about the dengue fever outbreak. In his emergency health statement, Asemanyi Mensah asked agencies to step up their surveillance and prevention plans.
Officials say they are not expecting an epidemic but want to ensure that communities remain prepared.
“If you remember what we did during the Ebola outbreak, it is the same thing. So at the community level, we have a surveillance team,” Dr. Emmanuel Kojo Tenkrang told CitiNews. “At the sub-district level we have a surveillance team. At the regional level and national level, there is also a surveillance team.”
The WHO alert issued Friday confirmed the outbreak in Burkina Faso, where 1,061 probable cases of dengue fever have continued since August, but said there was currently no information that dengue was spreading in the region.
“Ouagadougou is the capital of Burkina Faso with major roads routes and rail links to neighbouring countries and an international airport,” WHO officials said. “Additionally, there is frequent movement of populations to and from neighbouring countries.”
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne illness that is treatable and typically not fatal with early medical intervention, or in the absence of other underlying health complications.